Art in Belfast 1760-1880

Art Lovers or Philistines?

By Eileen Black

Contributions by: William Laffan

This richly illustrated book tells the story of art in Belfast from its early beginnings in the mid-eighteenth century to the opening in 1888 of the town's first rate-supported art gallery, a suite of rooms in the Free Public Library in Royal Avenue (known today as the Central Reference Library). Primary sources are used, charting the growth of the city into a lively centre for the trading of art. Despite the lack of financial support for local artistic ventures, Belfast maintained a flourishing art market through a variety of auction houses. When the first commercial art gallery was opened in 1864 an exhibiting society, the Art Union of Belfast, was formed. This prestigious space and body developed, and later public-spirited individuals re-established amenities for art education within the community and provided intellectual recreation for the working-class population. Their efforts led to the opening of a new School of Art in 1870 and the Free Public Library in 1888. This neglected area of Belfast's cultural life is given an authoritative reappraisal and places events in context for the first time. It contains much new material and a wide range of illustrations.~

274 pages

Publication Date: 4/1/2006
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9780716533627

Available in other formats